Rizla Suzuki began the San Marino and Rimini Riviera Grand Prix weekend in a positive way today and is sure that after the first session there is room for a significant improvement tomorrow.
Loris Capirossi (1’36.508, 27 laps) recorded the eighth fastest time around the 4,226m Misano World Circuit, as he set about getting the best set-up for the revised chassis on his Suzuki GSV-R at his home track. Capirossi and his crew have a clear direction to go in for tomorrow and are convinced that the changes they make overnight will help his lap-time considerably.
Chris Vermeulen (P14, 1’37.134, 29 laps) looked impressive during the early part of the hour-long session, but a change to his second bike hampered his progress as a technical issue caused him to spend valuable time resolving that, rather than making improvements to the overall machine. He is sure that he will be on the pace tomorrow once his crew has remedied the situation this evening.
Today’s weather at the Misano circuit was more akin to the tropics rather than the Adriatic coast of Italy, as low cloud, temperatures in the mid 30ºCs and high humidity gave the whole arena a hot and sticky feel similar to Malaysia. World Champion and home-town hero Valentino Rossi on his factory Yamaha set the fastest time
Rizla Suzuki and the whole MotoGP field have one more free practice session tomorrow morning with an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday 28-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
“The problem we have here today is that – like in Indy – we only have one new chassis and I decided to use the new one with a different geometry on the front and that meant we didn’t have time to change it during the session – so we had to keep it the same for the whole hour. We will certainly try something different tomorrow and this is a really important step to try and get the best feeling from the bike and that should make us go a lot quicker. I think that it is quite easy to improve on my time tomorrow”
“The session started well as I worked with the setting from last year which we knew was fast and I felt very comfortable with the set-up. Just after halfway I jumped on the other bike and suffered with some braking set-up issues that we spent the rest of the session trying to solve. That was all a bit disappointing because it meant I never got the chance to get up to speed with the different setting, but it did feel like I could have gone a lot quicker if it hadn’t have been for the problem. I am sure the guys will have everything working fine for tomorrow and we’ll be able to find a lot more time.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It’s not been a bad first session here in Misano and both of the guys have again been able to confirm that at a different track the new chassis is providing some advantages. Chris had some problems near the end that restricted him quite a bit and I don’t think we have seen anywhere near his true potential – I am also sure Loris has also got a lot more to come. We are not so far away from fourth place and if we can make the right decisions overnight then I think there are some improvements to be seen by both the guys tomorrow.”